Smitha Mundasad for the BBC reports a 10% increase in vacancies in health services posts. It would be interesting to see where in the 4 health systems there were most vacancies, By definition it also excludes GPs who are self employed, or their staff. Shortages have actually been present since the health service started… hence the numbers of imported staff from countries who need them more than we do. We may have the best system compared to many others, but not the best outcomes! If we cannot tempt doctors into Paediatrics something has seriously gone wrong.. with recruitment, retention, and gender balance. What a pity that the “industrial scale” recruitment of GPs cannot be from our own youngsters, and that the new recruits will once again block our own from a place in Med School. It is a clear admission of recurrent cross party political failure.
Statistics from NHS Digital, which collates data, shows the number of vacancies climbed by almost 8,000 compared to the same period in 2016.
Nurses and midwives accounted for the highest proportion of shortages, with 11,400 vacant posts in March 2017.
The Department of Health said staffing was a priority and that more money was being invested in frontline staff.
The data includes job adverts published on the NHS Jobs website between February 2015 and March 2017.
There are currently an estimated 1m full time jobs across the NHS in England.
The latest figures suggest in March 2017 alone there were 30,613 full-time equivalent vacancies advertised on the NHS Jobs website – the highest total for a month since this type of data was first collected in February 2015.
And nursing and midwifery vacancies have topped the list since these figures have been collated.
The data includes adverts for doctors, dentists, administrative, clerical staff and technical and scientific staff. The figures do not include vacancies for GPs or practice staff.
But as other ways of advertising NHS jobs – including adverts seeking overseas applicants – exist, NHS officials say caution must be used when interpreting the results.
Meanwhile, a Department of Health spokesperson said: “We expect all parts of the NHS to make sure they have the right staff, in the right place, at the right time to provide safe care – which is why there are almost 32,400 more professionally qualified clinical staff including almost 11,800 more doctors, and over 12,500 more nurses on our wards since May 2010.”
Janet Davies, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said low pay and “relentless pressure” meant many nursing were leaving the profession.”At the very moment the NHS needs to be recruiting more nursing staff, we learn the number is falling and the NHS finds itself advertising for more jobs we know it cannot fill,” she said.
“A lethal cocktail of factors is resulting in too few nurses and patient care is suffering.
“More people are leaving nursing than joining – deterred by low pay, relentless pressure and new training costs. ….
…The outgoing chief inspector of hospitals in England, Prof Sir Mike Richards, told the BBC’s Today Programme that Brexit posed a threat to recruitment which had to be addressed.
And a recent report by the Health Foundation found that the number of EU nurses registering to work in England had dropped since the vote to leave the EU.
Commenting on the report, Dr Mark Holland, of the Society for Acute Medicine, said extra pressure on “overworked frontline staff” to meet targets needed to be eased.
He added: “This data shows it is high time we saw steps taken to stop disincentivizing staff – salaries must be fair, working conditions must be safe and sustainable and clear career pathways must be in place.”
who also wrote in 2007: Record investment in NHS fails to improve productivity, Wanless finds